NEC’s 75th Convocation: Welcome Class of 2025

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On Wednesday, August 25, the freshman class was welcomed to New England College on the Simon lawn. Convocation is a welcoming event for the newest class, normally held a couple hours after students have moved into their dorms. This year on the 75th anniversary, Convocation was held in the middle of the second week of school. According to a few Peer Leaders, not all freshmen showed up. However, student athletes were mandated to come unlike years prior.

Unlike years past, where the Simon Lawn was filled with chairs for Mom, Dad and loved ones of the freshman class, there were no family and loved ones there to say goodbye and have NEC welcome them with open arms. Yet, due to unknown circumstances, only part of the lawn was filled with chairs.

The ability to live stream made the event more inclusive. This allowed Pilgrims far and wide to watch this ceremony. It even allowed for the ability to watch it a few days later if they choose.

One tradition that did stay the same was Eric Goodchild playing the bag pipes followed by the faculty of New England College dressed in their regalia. Faculty were then followed by the freshmen, who marched from the covered bridge to Simon Lawn. They were also greeted by an array of Board of Trustees members as well as Senior administration, who stood on the stage in front of them. As Goodchild finished playing, students were seated and Provost Wayne Lesperance, Master of Ceremonies, gave the welcome speech.

“It is my honor to present to you the class of 2025,” said Provost Lesperance.

President Michele Perkins gave her opening remarks. She talked about how important it is to stay dedicated to your studies as it is the “first critical step of your academic success.”

While Dr. Perkins focused on academic success, Lex Scorby, from the Board of Trustees, highlighted the importance of getting involved on campus.

“The College offers numerous opportunities to be involved and engaged,” said Scorby.

He also touched on how he felt as a freshman as a way to relate to the class of 2025.

“I didn’t know what to expect from New England College and my parents didn’t know what to expect from me,” said Scorby.

During the ceremony, Provost Lesperance introduced last year’s winner of the Robert A. Kilgore faculty award, Frank Jones.

“Presented to a faculty member who’s distinguished service to the teaching profession,” said by Provost Lesperance.

Award recipient Frank Jones talked a lot about commitment.

“Commitment is the key component to NEC’s approach,” said Frank Jones, Professor of Criminal Justice.

He also mentioned what committed students have the power to do.

“Some of the DC police officers that served on that day and subsequent days to protect our great democracy and our governmental processes are alumni from New England College,” said Jones.

Jones continued to talk about the other jobs that alumni have had and mentioned something all those students had. “They were all very committed to their success,” said Jones.

Kayla Padilla, the Student Senate President, talked about the importance of diversity.

Even though this year was different than all the rest, it was a new way to start the school year. Some freshmen complained it was too hot. In four years when they walk across the bridge again, next time in their robes and regalia as the graduating class, they will begin to feel nostalgic as they remember 2021’s Convocation just like Tyler Baker, a junior, who remembers when he was a freshman and sat through the ceremony. “It was nice to sit there with all my classmates and get to take part in a ceremony that is rooted in our colleges history,” Baker said.

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Lily Geber is a Senior at NEC with a double major in Political Science and Communication. She serves as Editor in Chief of the New Englander.
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